Day 3: Ogier, Latvala and VW share the spotlight
Sébastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) keep the lead of the 50 RallyRACC-Catalunya COSTA DAURADA, managing a race they dont want to let go. In any case, this third day of the Rally de España 2014 saw the French duo and their team mates at Volkswagen, Jari-Matti Latvala-Miikka Anttila, share the limelight, as the latter won the three stages of the first loop, always followed closely by Ogier.
In the second loop, another pass to the long 'Escaladei' and to 'Colldejou' just before the second urban stage of the race, 'Salou', with 2,24 km and designed through the citys promenade. Ogier won the long stage ahead of Latvala and Meeke (Citroën), while at 'Colldejou' Latvala was the fastest with Meeke second ahead of Ogier. The Salou stage was not won by any of the two, but by a Polo, Mikkelsens, who also won the urban stage in Barcelona, showing again Volkswagen Motorsports strength.
The drivers were a bit afraid about how the tyres would respond in the 50 km of the very demanding 'Escaladei' stage. In the end, apart from a few exceptions, the tyres worked quite well and the times set by the main teams show a fast pace, as the top 10 had an average speed of 100km/h.
Dani Sordo-Marc Martí (Hyundai) improved from their performance of yesterday, but were not able to be among the top 3 in any stage. At the end of this third day, the Spanish duo is fifth. The other Spanish team in higher positions is Xevi Pons-Alex Haro (Ford). They are 14th and have been setting times at WRC2 level, the class that has been led by Nasser Al-Attiyah (Ford), who had problems with the brakes today and had to fend off the attack from Julien Maurin (Ford).
Tomorrow, Sunday 26, it is the fourth and last day of the rally and the program will include two passes through 'La Mussara' and 'Riudecanyes' stages, with a total of 72,06 time kilometres. The last pass through 'Riudecanyes' will serve as Power Stage and will award additional points to the top three drivers. The arrival to the final podium in Salou is expected from 13h16.
Provisional classification of the 50 RallyRACC after day 3
1-Sébastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC), 3h.04'14"5
2-Jari-Matti Latvala-Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC), +27"3
3-Mikko Hirvonen-Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +1'18"6
4-Mads Ostberg-Jonas Andersson (Citroën DS3 WRC), +1'48"3
5-Dani Sordo-Marc Martí (Hyundai i20 WRC), +2'10"4
6-Thierry Neuville-Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC), +3'36"1
7-Andreas Mikkelsen-Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC), +3'48"2
8-Martin Prokop-Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +7'31"0
9-Hayden Paddon-John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC), +8'28"5
10-Yuriy Protasov-Pavlo Cherepin (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +9'50"6
11-Nasser Al Attiyah-Giovanni Bernacchini (Ford Fiesta RRC, 1st WRC2), +9'59"1